Youngsters keep Pedi culture alive

THEY are reviving Pedi culture with traditional dances, songs and dress codes.

THEY are reviving Pedi culture with traditional dances, songs and dress codes.

This group of five young women and two young men are bringing the dying Bapedi culture back to life with song and dance countrywide.

Marumo a'Ngwato are based in Gamasemola village in deep rural Limpopo.

Sixty-year-old Joseph Nchabeleng formed the group in 2004 and they immediately released an album called Molato. It sold like hot cakes.

There is one very hot song on Molato. It is called Ngwana rena waya (Our kid is going), and it has almost achieved the status of a Bapedi anthem.

Molato also has other popular songs such as Maruputlane, Balotjana, Kosha and Ngwana rena waya.

This album made Marumo a'Ngwato so popular that they were nominated for the South African Traditional Music Awards (Satma) in 2009.

The group has also released a DVD called Kgotla o Mone, which is very popular at cultural and other events across the country.

Nchabeleng says Marumo a'Ngwato's music and dances inspire youths and all Bapedi people and motivates them to remain true to their culture.

"I am getting the group to sing and dance on as many stages as possible so that other young people can see taking part in these cultural activities is a great achievement," Nchabeleng says.

"It teaches them a lot about their Sepedi roots."

Nchabeleng's noto is: "You don't have to be old to be able to play your cultural music.

He believes that cultural music and dancing are for young and old people.

The group's second album, Maruputlane, sold about 16000 copies in the first two months of being released.

Marumo a'Ngwato is managed by Dapeiti Mamogobo and they record at the Breeze recording company in Benoni on Gauteng's East Rand.